Residents may notice several more changes to the city of Keller’s updated Unified Development Code.
In addition to the previously reported changes to the UDC, other changes include zoning around Old Town Keller, sign sizes and trees.
Rather than having a maximum size for signs outside local businesses, the city will set it to scale with the size of the building, said Trina Zais, director of public services and economic development.
The maximum size was often too small for large buildings, for example, the Moviehouse & Eatery on Rufe Snow Drive, and the businesses had to go to City Council to request a code variance.
Now, they can still request a variance, but the city will use a formula to evaluate size of the building, distance from the road and other factors to recommend a sign size, Zais said.
Old Town Keller is now its own zoning category.
It had been zoned to include retail, commercial and industrial categories, but the city took the City Council’s “vision of Old Town” — to be a destination with restaurants, live music and other nightlife — and includes retail, restaurant, office and entertainment in the Old Town category.
“Things that don’t match that vision are stripped out,” Zais said, adding that drive-throughs aren’t allowed. “Starbucks slipped in at the last second.”
The city added a new zoning category called flex space that aims to have mixed-use development that is office-oriented but can have other types of buildings and businesses nearby, Zais said.
The city also has put more responsibility on new businesses regarding their impact on traffic. Based on traffic impact analysis, the city would have to make whatever road construction changes necessary to keep traffic flowing, Zais said. Now, it’s the new business’ responsibility to get the necessary roadwork done.
The city’s tree ordinance was altered to increase the allowable types, Zais said.
He said the city “identified the trees with the best chance to thrive in North Texas,” as well as shrubs, grasses and other plants. It also allows residents to cut down old and diseased trees.
Zais also wanted to remind residents that the city is still under water restrictions, “even though we had a lot of rain this year.”
The city buys its water from the city of Fort Worth, and as part of that contract, Keller is required to follow Fort Worth’s water schedule, which is twice a week.
For all questions about the UDC — which is available at www.cityofkeller.com — residents can call the Community Development department at 817-743-4130.